Beginners Marathon Training Guide

Non Running Training

In addition to the running that you are going to have to do in order to complete your first marathon, it might be a good idea to include some other types of exercise, either to achieve specific goals (eg injury reduction) or to vary the training that you are doing.

The time on your feet running is far and away the most important part of training for any beginner attempting the marathon, but there are other forms of exercise that might help as well.

Cross Training

If you are susceptible to injury, or are not used to lots of running, it might be worth doing one of your aerobic (fitness) sessions a week in another way. This might be swimming or cycling or on a rowing machine.

This has the disadvantage that you are training training your muscles specifically to run but, the advantage of this is that they are not placed under undue stress, which could be an advantage as they recover between running sessions.

You will still be training your heart and lungs as you do this sessions, so they can prove to be very useful.

Circuits / Weights / Stretching

It might also be worth considering some other additional training, such as circuits, weights or stretching as a stand alone session.

These are usually used by more advanced runners to reduce their times, but can also be very useful in helping beginners by reducing the risk of injury, particularly if you haven't exercised in a long time, or have particularly tight muscles.

We go into these types of training in more details in other areas of the site.




It is only advisable to do these types of training if you are able to recover in time for your next running session, which as we stated earlier is the main way of ensuring your training for the marathon is successful.

As with the training, try to progress what you do here slowly, just building up gradually, so that you avoid the risk of overtraining injuries or illness as much as possible.

Learn more / further reading

  1. What mileage should I do?
  2. How should I set up a weekly Schedule?
  3. What should I do on Race Day?
  4. What Clothing and Shoes do I need?
  5. How far should my Long Runs be?
  6. What should I eat?

Remember, if this all seems a bit daunting, we can put together a schedule prepared specifically for you from our team of experienced coaches with our Online Coaching.
















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